Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 33 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, a new, national 24/7 weather channel with studios in Denver and Minneapolis. Founder of Media Logic Group, Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for media at Broadcast Weather, and high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. | Send Paul a question.

Posts about Vikings fans

Cool & Showery (looks promising for MN Fishing Opener & Mother's Day)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: May 8, 2012 - 2:23 PM

 

 

Spotty Showers. A swirl of cold air aloft will keep us mostly cloudy and cool today; the best chance of scattered showers midday and afternoon. NWS Doppler at 2:23 pm shows a few scattered showers and possible thundershowers; with the freezing level close to the ground I wouldn't be surprised to hear a few reports of thunder and pea-size hail later today with a few of these cells - but it's too cool and dry for a widespread severe outbreak.

 

Hooray! I've never been happier getting an e-mail alert from The Star Tribune (10:43 pm last night). Thank you to Vikings fans and legislators in the Minnesota House who made the tough call to get this done, once and for all. I know I'm just a dazed weather guy, but I'm also a Minnesota tax payer and businessman, and I'm thrilled that the Vikings will be sticking around indefinitely, with a new, state-of-the-art stadium - one that will be used for a lot more than NFL football. Some were skeptical of Target Field, but that seems to be working out pretty well. I know there are vocal critics, and yes, we need to spend money on infrastructure, health care and education and a host of other challenges, but losing the Vikings was not an attractive proposition. I think it was the right call. Hopefully the MN Senata will feel the same way...

 

66 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.

67 F. average high for May 7.

72 F. high temperature on May 7, 2011.

.07" showery rains predicted this afternoon/evening (NAM model).

First dry Saturday in a month? The early word is encouraging - details below.

 

4.23" rain the first 6 days of May, 2012

.77" average rain for the first 6 days of May in the Twin Cities.

.15" rainfall from May 1-6, 2011.

 

Minnesota Fishing Opener. This is how I'll be spending my Saturday. Not sure why, but I seem to have better luck fishing potholes. Odd. I'm cautiously optimistic for the weekend weather, although I expect complaints about:

a). too much sunshine, and

b). a rising barometer.

* Expect sunrise temperatures in the mid to upper 40s Saturday and Sunday morning. Saturday morning may start out cloudy and damp, but skies should be mostly clear Sunday morning.

Saturday: Damp, gray start giving way to partly sunny conditions. Winds: West 10-15. High: 64 (Gull Lake) to 68 (Lake Minnetonka and White Bear).

Sunday: More sun, fewer clouds - beautiful. Winds: Southwest 5-15. Highs: 69 (Pelican and Round Lake) to 71 (Mille Lacs) to 75 (Lake Pepin)

 

Fishing Opener + Mother's Day: What Can Possibly Go Wrong? The European ECMWF model is fairly encouraging for next weekend, hinting at clouds and a little drizzle early Saturday, giving way to a mix of clouds and sun, a northwest breeze. Sunday looks sunnier and a few degrees milder by afternoon, highs reaching the low 70s for Mother's Day. BTW, the high temperatures above (in red) are in Celsius. Don't want to trigger any heart-palpitations.

 

Weekend Details. The ECMWF prints out .3 mm early Saturday, between 1 am and 7 am. We may wake up to clouds and drizzle, but a west to northwest wind should provide partial clearing. Miraculously, Mother's Day looks dry, sunny and lukewarm with a light west to northwest breeze. Apparently Mother Nature will be celebrating as well.

 

Cartoon courtesy of Brian Zalkowski.

 

A (Temporary) Break In The Action? Long-range guidance is hinting at a return to drier, slightly cooler weather for much of America east of the Mississippi. Details from CPC and Ham Weather below. No major storms or frontal passages are expected through the middle of next week.

 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - Albert Einstein.

 

" A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth, threatening to plunge cities around the world into darkness and bring the global economy screeching to a halt." - excerpt from an L.A. Times story; details below. Have a nice day.

 

Union Gospel Mission Turns 110. Congratulations to one of the most remarkable non-profits in Minnesota, an organization that turns lives around, one at a time. Details on their big celebration below.

 

A Month's Worth Of Rain Last Weekend. These are Doppler radar estimates from NOAA's AHPS (Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service). Much of central and southern Minnesota picked up 2-5" of rain from Friday into Sunday morning - pretty impressive. Over 6" soaked the Wisconsin Dells from the same stalled frontal boundary. We dry out this week - no more excessive rainfall amounts in sight.

 

A Drier Week. A few instability showers are likely this afternoon and evening, dry weather returns Wednesday and Thursday with a few fleeting T-showers on Friday. Right now the weekend looks dry. I know - I'll believe it when I see it.

Note To Self: Take The Rest Of The Week Off. Cooler, Canadian air pushing southward temporarily shuts off a moist, unstable flow from the Gulf of Mexico, reducing the potential for heavy/severe T-storms into much of next week. A west/northwest jet stream wind flow aloft means cooler weather for the eastern half of the USA, while heat builds out west. The best chance of Minnesota showers: this afternoon, again Friday. 180-hour GFS outlook courtesy of NOAA.

 

Sunrise Temperatures Saturday. Getting up early for Saturday's Fishing Opener? Expect temperatures in the low 40s (north) to mid and upper 40s (metro lakes). Details from NOAA.

 

Spring (For Real). No more cold fronts until further notice. The GFS is predicting 70s, even a couple of low 80s, between May 15-23. The next chance of significant rain may not come until May 21, give or take.

 

High Winds Cause Damage In Las Vegas Area. Details and video from KTNV-TV in Las Vegas: "High winds sweeping through the Valley caused damage to businesses and power outages at homes on Monday afternoon. The first report of damage came from a building on Flamingo near Eastern at about 3:30 p.m. A spokesperson for Clark County said the structure lost tiles from the roof and the building appeared to be unoccupied. A dollar store near Flamingo and Owens also suffered wind damage."

 

Record Highs on May 6

Springfield, IL                     90

Galveston, TX                    85 (tie)

Greenville, MS                 92 (tie)

Jacksonville, FL                 96

Alma, FL                               95

New Iberia, LA                  92 (tie)

North Little Rock, AR      90 (tie)

Batesville, AR                     91

Monticello, AR                  91

Little Rock AFB, AR          91

Jonesboro, AR                   94 (tie)

Paducah, KY                       91

Evansville, IN                     91 (tie)

St Louis, MO                       92

Fort Smith, AR                   91 (tie)

* thanks to Earth Networks for passing these reports along.

 

Welcome to "La Nada". What happens when there's no La Nina (cooling) or obvious El Nino (warming) of the Pacific? La Nada, which is a nickname for who-the-heck-knows what will happen next? At least with El Nino or La Nina changes in Pacific Ocean currents can nudge the weather downwind, over North America, in one direction or another. The L.A. Times has more: "La Niña, the demon diva of drought, has ended, but what comes next could be even more foreboding: La Nada. La Nada, or "nothing" in Spanish, is climatologist Bill Patzert's nickname for when surface sea temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are about normal. That means ocean temperatures are not too warm, which would trigger an El Niño and would typically mean a rainy winter in Southern California. The sea also is not too cold, which produces a La Niña and usually means a dry season."

 

May 4 Kiester, Minnesota Tornado. An update from Twin Cities National Weather Service: "A tornado touched down two miles west of Kiester on Friday, May 4th. It travelled east-northeast, and dissipated two miles northeast of Kiester in eastern Faribault County. The tornado was on the ground four miles and had a maximum width of 50 yards. The tornado was rated an EF-0, with winds of around 75 mph. It damaged trees, took down three barns, and destroyed a number of sheds and other outbuildings. A few windows were blown out. Power poles were also knocked down. This tornado occurred between about 5:50 PM and 6:00 PM. The precise time of the touchdown is yet determined."

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Crock & KAAL

 

Kansas City Funnel. Here is YouTube footage of the funnel that threatened Olathe, a suburb of Kansas City, courtesy of UneGosseFolle.

 

Palm Beach County Funnel. From the Miami National Weather Service via FB: "No tornado Warning was issued as the funnel cloud did not reach the ground. However, a significant weather advisory was issued for northern Broward and southern Palm Beach counties for possible funnel cloud development."

 

Tornado Near Tokyo Kills One, Injures Dozens. Amazing. The USA experiences more tornadoes than any other nation on earth (average of 1200 to 1500/year). It's rare to get such a big, long-lasting tornado in Japan. Details from U-T San Diego: "A tornado tore through a city northeast of Japan's capital on Sunday, killing one person, injuring dozens of others and destroying scores of houses. Firefighters and medical teams rushed to the area after the tornado struck Tsukuba city, 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Tokyo. The city is a science center, with dozens of research and academic institutes, but the tornado appeared to mostly hit residential areas."

Photo credit above: "This photo was taken by an anonymous Tsukuba resident,showing a tornado in Tsukuba City, northeast of Tokyo, on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The tornado tore through the area, injuring at least 30 people, destroying dozens of homes and leaving thousands more without electricity (AP Photo/Kyodo News). AP Photo.

 

Japan Tornado - Another Perspective. Folks living northeast of Tokyo must have been flabbergasted: an EF-2 or EF-3 strength tornado in Japan? The raw YouTube footage is here.

 

This Will Put A Dimple In Your Prius. Good grief: that's 3-4" diameter hail, hitting the ground at over 100 mph. Details from the Chicago office of The National Weather Service Facebook site: "The same supercell thunderstorm over Iroquois County when it was near Watseka produced extremely large, baseball-sized hail! This photo was sent by Steve Peters to Tammie Souza, who shared it with us."

 

Photo Of The Day: "Wall Cloud". Here is a terrific photo of a rotating "supercell" thunderstorm that went on to spawn large hail; details from the Chicago office of The National Weather Service. They've been busy down there in recent days. More info: "Here's an impressive photo of a wall cloud southwest of Ashkum in Iroquois County on Sunday afternoon."

 

You've Been Warned: Wireless Providers Enroll In Emergency Alerts For Severe Weather. Here's an interesting article from The Carroll County Times: "They are short and to the point. They warn of potentially life-threatening weather, Amber Alerts and messages from the president in case of emergency. They are sent to mobile phones via text message immediately. Wireless emergency alerts, sent immediately after warnings are issued, are being implemented in a joint effort by the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This month, the National Weather Service will start utilizing wireless emergency alerts for tornado, flash flood and blizzard warnings, among others. They will go directly to wireless users in an affected county automatically."

Illustration above: Carroll County Times.

 

Storm Warnings For Ships. Here's an excerpt of an interesting article (at least I thought so) from Tampa Bay Online: "The trip from McKay Bay to the Sunshine Skyway in a chugging freighter can take as long as five hours, so the weather along the way can change a couple of times. It could be sunny and balmy in Tampa while thunderous storms rage near Egmont Key, said Capt. Mike Buffington, a harbor pilot for the Port of Tampa. Ships heading in and out of the port travel some 42 miles to get to the Gulf of Mexico. So the new initiative by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service to provide real-time, pinpoint weather analysis to harbor pilots guiding ships on marine routes through the Bay is being warmly received."

 

"Think It'll Snow?" The short answer is yes. Here's more from the Crater Lake National Park Facebook site: "About 2 miles of West Rim Dr is plowed but still closed to motor vehicles. Good place to walk with Fido or go for a bike ride. Improvised bike racks provided."

 

Snow Drought That Hammered Skiers Now Threatens Farmers. The story from USA Today, KUSA-TV and AP: "The dearth of snow that set back Colorado's ski areas this winter is now taking its toll on farmers, KUSA-TV reports. It could cost farmers millions of dollars and translate to higher prices for consumers. Snow runoff traditionally fills up the ditches and ponds that farmers tap to irrigate crops. Not this year. The "terrible year" for ski resorts is translating to a lack of surface water for farmers who say their options for water are limited. "It's a huge issue. I consider water more valuable than gold," Weld County farmer Glen Fritzler tells KUSA. "We can't survive without it."

 

Cooler, Drier Bias Next 2 Weeks. The good news: weather will be largely siren-free east of the Mississippi through the third week of May. CPC, the Climate Prediction Center (division of NOAA) is predicting cooler weather through May 18 for much of the east, a warm bias out west. Details from Ham Weather.

 

Space Weather Expert Has Ominous Forecast. Great, as if we didn't all have enough on our plates. Now the sun may be interfering with our lives? Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth, threatening to plunge cities around the world into darkness and bring the global economy screeching to a halt. This isn't the premise of the latest doomsday thriller. Massive solar storms have happened before — and another one is likely to occur soon, according to Mike Hapgood, a space weather scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, England. Much of the planet's electronic equipment, as well as orbiting satellites, have been built to withstand these periodic geomagnetic storms. But the world is still not prepared for a truly damaging solar storm, Hapgood argues in a recent commentary published in the journal Nature."

Photo credit above: "A massive explosion on the sun's surface has triggered the largest solar radiation storm since 2005, hurling charged particles at Earth. (NASA / May 4, 2012)."

 

"Ask Paul". Weather-related Q&A:

Paul,

"Is there a good website that you can direct me to that will show the amount of precipitation in area on a specific date?

Thanks,

Steve

Steve - the "Puddles Page" at the Minnesota Climatology Working Group is the best resource I've found for tracking down map-based and text-based rainfall amounts. Check it out.

______________________________________________________________________

Hi Paul,

"Thanks for being a great meteorologist and congratulations on your own weather company.  I realize this is not the most earth shaking question you've gotten, but I'm interested in your thoughts.  

I've noticed that most local TV meteorologists do not give rain or snow amounts and high and low temperatures from the day before.  I'm always asking the TV what the weather was like yesterday and never get an answer. ( Of course, today when I bring it up I see that channel 4 is covering it because of the deluge we got last night.) 

A lot has changed in weather forecasting over the last 50 years, most of it for the better.  While growing up on our dairy farm at New Market, my father was always watching the weather.  We talked about weather a lot.  I do miss the good old days when we got the weather stats from the day before from folks like Bud Krieling.  It seems they could add it to the charts they display.  Does it take too much time?  Or do they think people are not interested?   

I look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you."

Na zdravi!

Barbara Mahowald

Savage, MN

 

Thanks Barbara - appreciate the kind words. Did my mom set you up to write this letter? Either way, thank you. To be honest, when I was working in local TV the consultants ("news doctors") shared research that showed most viewers don't care so much about climate/almanac information - most viewers tend to care most about what will happen, not what already happened. Here on the blog I have the luxury of time (and space) and start out every blog with a recap of what happened yesterday in the Twin Cities. Here are a few sources you can tap to get the latest climate data for the Twin Cities:

1). Local National Weather Service Climate Data. Click on "CLIMSP" to get Twin Cities data.

2). Daily/Monthly Data For The Twin Cities. This is a good source to get a recap, day by day, month by month, going back to 2000. Both sites are great places to start if  you're looking for specifics on what just happened, weatherwise. Thanks for reading - feel free to send your weather observations, comments and anecdotes.

3). Storm Reports. The local NWS in Chanhassen does a great job updating this site. Check this to see reports on hail, tornadoes, high winds, record high or low temperatures, etc.


1 Week's Worth Of Storm Reports. Speaking of storms, it's OK to exhale - we get a break in the severe storm area through Friday. According to NOAA there have been near 3,000 individual severe storm reports in just the last week. Click here to navigate an interactive map, courtesy of Ham Weather.

Total Storm Reports: 2984
Wind: 695
Rain: 513
Snow/Blizzard: 17
Tornado: 103
Hail: 1637
Fire: 4
Lightning: 9
14: 1
Tides: 5

 

KVOA Puts More Eyes Around Tucson. A visual surveillance system called "SkyNet"? Wasn't there a movie about that, with a certain famous California governor? Yes, life is immitating art, and described in this article at The Arizona Daily Star which caught my eye; here's an excerpt: "Seeking an edge over the competition, KVOA-Channel 4 put together a network of remote-controlled HD cameras throughout the city to capture live footage of news as it occurs. News 4 Tucson Skynet lets the station instantly pull up footage of traffic problems, weather and other news as it breaks. Jeff Clemons, KVOA's marketing director, said the system, which went online April 25, gives the station access to footage others might need a helicopter to get. "We're able to scan the streets for pretty much whatever's out there." Clemons said he's not aware of any negative legal ramifications of having the system in place."

 

Air Force Pilots Blow The Whistle On F-22 Raptor's Mysterious, And Dangerous Flaw. Did you see the 60 Minutes story on Sunday? Amazing - these pilots were very brave to step up and talk on camera. Here's a good summary of the nagging issues related to F-22's, courtesy of Huffington Post: "Two elite Air Force pilots are seeking protection under the federal whistleblower law for revealing safety problems on the F-22 Raptor, and refusing to fly until those issues are resolved. On Sunday night, Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Josh Wilson risked their careers by appearing on the CBS news program "60 Minutes," in uniform and without permission to discuss the stealth fighter's flaw. Both pilots, who flew combat missions in the Iraq War, said they love flying the $400 million jets. But a faulty oxygen system that is suffocating the pilots and causing blackouts is making them fear for their lives and for the lives of people on the ground."

Photo credit above: "This June 22, 2009 photo released by the U.S. Navy shows an Air Force F-22 Raptor executing a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Gulf of Alaska. (AP Photo/US Navy - Ronald Dejarnett, File)."

 

Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things. I thought this was a thought-provoking article; here's an excerpt from NPR: "Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the subprime mortgage crisis. Over the past decade or so, news stories about unethical behavior have been a regular feature on TV, a long, discouraging parade of misdeeds marching across our screens. And in the face of these scandals, psychologists and economists have been slowly reworking how they think about the cause of unethical behavior. In general, when we think about bad behavior, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. But that model, researchers say, is profoundly inadequate."

Illustration credit above: Adam Cole/NPR .

 

Bill Keller: Fox News "Murdoch's Most Toxic Legacy". Here' an excerpt of an article at TVNewser.com: "Former New York Times editor Bill Kellerhas written an op-ed column focused on Fox News Channel. Keller notes that it is a financial juggernaut for News Corp. and discusses a pair of Roger Ailes and Fox News biographies, one written without FNC’s consent by journalist Gabriel Sherman, and another by Ailes himself (along with a co-author). The issue Keller takes is not financial, but rather with how the network represents itself, and facts. That, he says, is Rupert Murdoch‘s “most toxic legacy”:

"I doubt that people at Fox News really believe their programming is “fair and balanced” — that’s just a slogan for the suckers — but they probably are convinced that what they have created is the conservative counterweight to a media elite long marinated in liberal bias. They believe that they are doing exactly what other serious news organizations do; they just do it for an audience that had been left out before Fox came along."

* Keller's full Op-ed in the New York Times is here.

 

Teal Camper Assembles And Breaks Down Like A Puzzle. Just what I want when I go camping - a puzzle. But, for those with more technical determination and tenacity than me - here's a clip from an article at gizmag.com: "The Teal Camper gives campers an interesting way of combining the sturdy, hard-sided living quarters of a camping trailer with the easy storage of a smaller pop-up or tent. The camper is shipped to your door as a series of panels, and assembles into a two-person dwelling within about 90 minutes. When your camping season is over, you break it back down and store it neatly."

 

Put Away The Bell Curve: Move Of Us Aren't "Average". Here's a clip from NPR's Morning Edition: "For decades, teachers, managers and parents have assumed that the performance of students and employees fits what's known as the bell curve — in most activities, we expect a few people to be very good, a few people to be very bad and most people to be average. The bell curve powerfully shapes how we think of human performance: If lots of students or employees happen to show up as extreme outliers — they're either very good or very bad — we assume they must represent a skewed sample, because only a few people in a truly random sample are supposed to be outliers."

Photo credit above: "Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's record for career home runs as he hits No. 715 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1974, on his way to a career 755 home runs. Research suggests that in a wide variety of professions, including collegiate and professional sports, a small but significant number of individuals perform exceedingly well and the rest of individuals' performance trails off." Photo: AP.

 

Dubai Water Discus Hotel Will Allow Guests To Sleep Underwater. Truth: all I really need is clean sheets, a TV and free Wi-Fi. But Dubai tends to do everything over the top, as described in this gizmag.com article: "It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – already home to several world record-holding projects, including the tallest building (for just a little while longer), the largest shopping mall and biggest man-made island, plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world's largest underwater luxury hotel, the Water Discus. Several years ago, we reported on another such ambitious project, Hydropolis, which sadly never got past the blueprint stage. If Polish company Deep Ocean Technology's (DOT) plans come to fruition, however, guests could one day find themselves asleep beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf."

 

Spring Fling. Why are Monday's amazing and Saturdays...stink? Yesterday was close to perfect, low humidity, a fresh breeze, highs ranging from 60 at Alexandria to 65 St. Cloud, 66 in the Twin Cities and 69 at Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

 

 

110 And Counting. The Union Gospel Mission has been a Twin Cities institution for 110 years. Last night I had the honor of emceeing their birthday party (over 1100 people were there to help celebrate). The photo above is the UGM Changed Lives Choir, who sang their hearts out, along with the one and only Jearlyn Steel. Union Gospel Mission takes a spirit-based approach to helping people down on their luck, turning lives around, offering not only a place to stay and recover, but counseling and training to turn their residents into productive (joy-filled) citizens ready to return to the work force and their families. They get results, and we are a better community because they're here. Thanks for a great party, and congratulations!

 

 

Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

 


TODAY: Mostly cloudy with showers likely. Rumble of thunder possible. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 57

 

TUESDAY NIGHT: Evening shower, then partial clearing late - chilly. Low: 45

 

WEDNESDAY: More sun, less wind - much nicer. High: 67

 

THURSDAY: Sunny, best day of the week? Low: 49. High: 74

 

FRIDAY: More clouds, stray T-shower possible. Low: 54. High: 69

 

SATURDAY (MINNESOTA FISHING OPENER): Damp start, then partly sunny and nice. Winds: W 10. High: 68

 

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and comfortably cool. Low: 50

 

SUNDAY (MOTHER'S DAY): Bright sun, sunburnt moms. Winds: SW 10. High: 73

 

MONDAY: Mix of clouds and lukewarm sun. Low: 56. High: 75

 

 

Cautiously optimistic

Here's how I started my Monday, stumbling into the office. "Paul, why are Mondays amazing, while weekends suck?" Did I mention we need the rain? Fact: there's no scientific evidence that rain is more likely to fall on a Saturday than a Monday.

Man-made pollutants seeding clouds have been linked to more showers and T-storms downwind of some urban centers during the work week. Perception becomes reality right? More of us are outside on weekends - more weather-sensitive; at the mercy of the elements.

4.2 inches of rain fell on the metro during the first 6 days of May. That's a June's worth of rain! Some towns picked up closer to 6 inches, and lake water levels are beginning to respond. We're not entirely out of the woods with drought, but I'm feeling better about the weather maps.

A minor Canadian Relapse arrives today as a whirlpool of chilly, unstable air sloshes overhead - a few PM clouds and showers. Wednesday and Thursday look stunning, only a fleeting T-shower Friday.

A damp start Saturday gives way to intervals of sun; highs: 65-70 F. Not bad for a Minnesota Fishing Opener. Mom may need extra sunscreen on her big day: low 70s on Sunday. Good timing...for once.

 

"We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

 

Climate Stories..

 

Why Don't TV Meteorologists Believe In Climate Change. First of all, the headlines is misleading. Many TV meteorologists do "believe" in science. The data is the data. I'm one of them, in case you've just emerged from a cave - that hardly comes as breaking news, right? Some of my colleagues on the TV side have been burned (repeatedly) by weather models, and they apply that same logic to climate simulations. Others have replaced science with ideology and politics. I suspect others enjoy being the "local science experts" in their markets, and don't like climate scientists hogging the limelight. Just a gut. I want to give some of these men and women, experts in short-term weather prediction, the benefit of a doubt: some may not have taken the time to dig into the climate science and rely on denier blogs and talk radio (God help us). Here's an excerpt of a story from InsideClimate News: "In recent years, the world's scientists have begun to show that climate change is altering the magnitude and frequency of severe weather, and polls say a majority of Americans now link droughts, floods and other extremes to global warming. And yet, this country's TV weather forecasters have increasingly taken to denying evidence that warming is affecting weather—or is even happening at all. Only 19 percent accept the established science that human activity is driving climate change, says a 2011 report by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, making TV meteorologists far more skeptical than the public at large."

Photo credit above: "Mark Johnson, meteorologist for WEWS ABC in Cleveland, Ohio. Johnson is one of several climate skeptic forecasts who says there is no convincing evidence of global warming."

 

The Climate Fixers. Is there a technological fix (or Bandaid) to climate change? The subject of geoengineering has been getting considerable traction in recent years - injecting chemicals into the atmosphere to counter observed warming. What can possibly go wrong? Here's an excerpt of a long, but excellent article at The New Yorker: "The heavy industrial activity of the previous hundred years had caused the earth’s climate to warm by roughly three-quarters of a degree Celsius, helping to make the twentieth century the hottest in at least a thousand years. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, however, reduced global temperatures by nearly that much in a single year. It also disrupted patterns of precipitation throughout the planet. It is believed to have influenced events as varied as floods along the Mississippi River in 1993 and, later that year, the drought that devastated the African Sahel. Most people considered the eruption a calamity. For geophysical scientists, though, Mt. Pinatubo provided the best model in at least a century to help us understand what might happen if humans attempted to ameliorate global warming by deliberately altering the climate of the earth. For years, even to entertain the possibility of human intervention on such a scale—geoengineering, as the practice is known—has been denounced as hubris."

Photo credit above: "Geoengineering holds out the promise of artificially reversing recent climate trends, but it entails enormous risks." Illustration: The New Yorker.

 

To Repair The Shore, Or Retreat? Rising sea levels are already impacting the New York City area - here's an excerpt of a New York Times story focused on coastal Connecticut: "EIGHT months after Tropical Storm Irene slammed into Cosey Beach Avenue in East Haven, ripping off parts of some houses and washing others away, many property owners are still adrift.  “Some have been able to rebuild, but others don’t have the resources,” said State Senator Len Fasano, a Republican whose district includes East Haven. “A lot of these homes have been passed down from generation to generation. A few people have cleaned up their lot, removed the debris and put their property up for sale.”

 

Opinion. World's Faith Groups Agree That Climate Change Is A Growing Concern. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at NJ.com: "Late last year, my mother asked me to make a collection of statements by various faith groups on the subject of climate change. She volunteers for the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), an international, nonpartisan, nonprofit group that is urging Congress to pass legislation to curb U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. CCL foresaw that the world’s religious communities might be a valuable ally. I agreed to take on this task and began by looking up a number of Christian and Jewish groups on the internet."

Photo credit above: . "An iceberg is seen in Disko Bay, Greenland above the arctic circle in this 2005 file photo."

 

An Open Letter To State Farm About Climate Denial. Here's a post from Shawn Lawrence Otto at Neorenaissance: "Climate science professor Scott Mandia has been insured by State Farm Insurance for 21 years, but when he read that State Farm has apparent given hundreds of thousands of dollars (PDF) to climate denial propaganda outfit The Heartland Institute, he began to question his loyalty to the insurer.  Last week, Heartland rolled out a hate-oriented billboard campaign that compared scientists, science organizations, and federal agencies who acknowledge that science suggests human behavior is warming the planet to "murderers and madmen" like Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden."

 

State Farm Ends Support Of Heartland Institute. Kudos to State Farm! More on their Facebook Page.

 

Heartland's Unabomber Fiasco Is Par For The Course. Here's a snippet from Forbes.com: "So, the Heartland Institute has battle fatigue, and that’s what drove it to erect a billboard along a suburban Chicago expressway with the Unabomber’s mugshot and the caption, “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” That’s what serial Heartland apologist Anthony Watts says: the make-believe “think tank” is shell-shocked, and that’s why they’re behaving strangely. Hmmm…  I’d have thought that if anyone should be suffering battle fatigue, it’s the scientists and reporters who receive the hate-mail and death threats fueled by Heartland’s campaign of distortion and innuendo."

 

Climate Ship Plots Course Through The Battering Waves. Here's an excerpt of a BBC story: "Last December's UN climate summit, in the South African port of Durban, saw heated discussions on a proposal that governments should commit to agreeing a new comprehensive global emissions-limiting deal with some kind of legal force before 2015. Reluctant nations found themselves up against a burgeoning coalition of principally small countries from the developed and developing worlds alike, which found common interest in tackling climate change as quickly as possible. The rainbow coalition included the EU, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), small islands vulnerable to impacts such as rising sea levels, and progressive Latin American countries such as Costa Rica."

Photo credit: AFP.

 

Sales of Hybrid, Electric Cars Take Off. An update from EagleTribune.com: "When a new hybrid Prius is delivered to the Rockingham Toyota Scion dealership in Salem, N.H., it sells almost immediately. "Every time we get one on the lot, it lasts about five hours," said Marc Smith, the general sales manager. "Most times, it's gone before it even reaches the dealership." High gas prices and consumers' desire for greener vehicles are driving sales of efficient gas, hybrid and electric cars, dealers and customers said."

 

Are We In The Midst Of A Sixth Mass Extinction? Tuesdays are tough enough - now I have to worry about another mass extinction - thanks Paul. Here's a blurb from a New York Times article: "NEARLY 20,000 species of animals and plants around the globe are considered high risks for extinction in the wild. That’s according to the most authoritative compilation of living things at risk — the so-called Red List maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This should keep us awake at night. By generalizing from the few groups that we know fairly well — amphibians, birds and mammals — a study in the journal Nature last year concluded that if all species listed as threatened on the Red List were lost over the coming century, and that rate of extinction continued, we would be on track to lose three-quarters or more of all species within a few centuries."

 

Petroleum Companies Urged To Increase Adoption Of American-Made Renewable Energy. Here's an excerpt of a story from imperialvalleynews.com: "Washington, DC - Agriculture Secretary Vilsack called on petroleum companies to help increase the percentage of ethanol in America's gas tanks in order to reduce dependence on foreign oil, boost job creation and promote development of renewable energy from farm-produced feedstocks. Recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action approved the use of E15, a fuel blend that is 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, up from the current 10 percent blend level."

Frost Advisory - Weekend Warming Trend (perfect Marathon weather)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: September 30, 2011 - 8:50 AM

66 F. high in the Twin Cities on Thursday.

52 mph wind gust at Crystal Airport, in Hennepin County, at 11:53 Thursday morning.

56 mph gust at Rochester and Hanley Falls (Yellow Medicine County) at 12:20 pm yesterday.

32 foot seas and wind gusts as high as 60-65 mph. predicted for Lake Superior through Friday morning.

Frost possible tonight in the suburbs, especially outside the 494/694 freeway.

Twin Cities Marathon Sunday: clear skies, light south winds at 10 mph, starting out near 42, reaching 62 by midday Sunday under sunny skies, highs in the low 70s by 4 pm. About as good as it ever gets in early October.

Ophelia: Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds - should track well east of the US coast, possibly hitting the Canadian Maritimes by Monday.

 

Frost Potential. The NWS has issued a frost advisory for the northern and eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities and much of central/southern Wisconsin. If you live more than 15-20 miles away from downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis you may experience a light frost by daybreak Saturday.

 

Alberta Clipper. Named after the clipper ships of the 1830s and 1840s (fastest vessels on the high seas, capable of forward speeds as high as 30 knots), Thursday's Alberta Clipper whipped up a few hours of rain and tropical storm force wind gusts. Unlike last week's stationary closed low - this clipper will keep on (clipping) southeast, a ridge of high pressure resulting in bright sun and less wind today.

 

Next Chance Of Significant Rain. It's a dry forecast for most of the Upper Midwest through at least Thursday of next week. The map above shows moderate to heavy rain with a vigorous cold frontal passage a week from today - the next chance of widespread rain.

 

Ophelia Becomes The 4th Named Hurricane of 2011. Only 2005 had more named hurricanes than 2011. This year has seen the second greatest number of named storms on record, according to NHC. Ophelia is a Category 2 hurricane, packing 105 mph. sustained winds.

 

Early Snow For New England? It's not definite (yet), but the long-range GFS model is hinting at some 1-2" snowfall amounts for northern New York State. That's early - the average date of the first (measureable) snowfall in the Catskills is around November 5.

 

"...Rob Jackson, the director of the Duke Center on Global Change, acknowledges this backdrop of uncertainty. "Can anyone say with certainty that this is climate-change related? Absolutely not," he said. But Jackson -- who went to college and taught in Texas and continues to visit frequently to see family -- suggested that the scale of the Texas wildfires is starting to change the minds of some scientists who have traditionally been hesitant to blame specific weather events on climate change. "The heat and drought I saw in August is almost enough to make me say that climate change is playing a role, amplifying other factors," Jackson said. "I've never said that before about any weather event."- from a post below from Politifact.

 

...RECORD MONTHLY RAINFALL SET AT ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA...

THE 12.77 THROUGH THE FIRST 28 DAYS OF SEPTEMBER HAS ALREADY
ECLIPSED THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 11.57 INCHES SET IN 1999.

THIS IS THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE WETTEST MONTH ON RECORD AT ALLENTOWN.
THE AUGUST 13.47 INCH TOTAL WAS THE ALL TIME MONTHLY
RECORD PRECIPITATION AMOUNT FOR ALLENTOWN..

THE PERIOD OF RECORD DATES BACK TO 1922.

 

New York State Rainfall Totals:

The NWS just released storm totals for counties in New York. Ulster county was hit hardest, getting almost 8 inches of rain in 24 hours.

...ULSTER COUNTY...
   WEST SHOKAN           7.25   645 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6
   PHOENICIA             6.13   608 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6
   SAUGERTIES            2.99   650 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6
   KINGSTON              1.24   437 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6

 

Flood-Weary Pennsylvania Residents Deal With More Water. Rainfall across much of the Keystone State has been 2-5 times more than average for September, over a foot of water just this month. The Houston Chronicle has more details: "Flood watches remain in effect for much of flood-weary eastern Pennsylvania, where rising waters had some people fearing for their homes for a fourth time in a month. An area stretching from Philadelphia north to the New York border was forecast to get more rain Thursday and concerns over runoff prompted flash flood warnings. Some residents in Harveys Lake, Luzerne County were evacuated late Wednesday after water ran over the Twin Lakes dam. Harrisburg River Rescue retrieved about 10 people from homes in Swatara Township, where the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee caused extensive flood damage earlier this month. Flooding from Hurricane Irene late last month was followed by record flooding in many areas because of Lee. That flooding damaged thousands of buildings on a scale not seen since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Further north in Huntingdon County, officials Wednesday declared a disaster emergency in Three Springs, Mount Union and Saltillo boroughs after flash flooding this week. More than 3 inches of rain fell in one 40-minute span, county emergency management director Adam Miller said Thursday." (photo above courtesy of the ibtimes.com).

 

Ophelia's Track. A Tropical Storm Watch is posted for Bermuda, but Ophelia should track east of the island. There's even a small chance it may reach Nova Scotia (Canada) as a weak, category 1 hurricane by Monday of next week. Map courtesy of NHC and Ham Weather.

 

Stressing Out. Here's an interesting post from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet: "This year has certainly seen its share of hot weather as compared with recent years. The featured chart presents two measures of heat stress. The top panel is the number of hours where the temperature was at or above 93 based on data from the Des Moines Airport sensor. The bottom panel presents the traditional stress degree days, which is a measure of the exceedance of 86 by the daily high temperature. For both measures, this year has been the warmest since the drought year of 1988. The largest values, by a large margin, on the chart are from the dust bowl in the 1930s."

 

Wednesday's Haboob In Arizona. More details courtesy of WJLA-TV: "As yet another dust storm swept over Arizona yesterday, a dozen grit-lost automobiles met on an interstate in an ear-shattering mass collision. They then sat there smoking for hours with emergency officials on hold until the air stopped resembling the inside of a vacuum bag. Haboobs are a regular feature of the Southwest Monsoon, a time of summer when high pressure gathering in the east Pacific Ocean directs waves of moist sea air northward. This year’s crop is a bit rowdier than usual, though. Stretching up to nearly a mile in some cases, they are arriving with regularity: Two alone have struck in the past four days. Yesterday’s was the fourth really big dust storm in Arizona this summer. It’s not uncommon for a handful to occur during an average year, but what is uncommon, as at least one meteorologist has noted, is the power of 2011′s haboobs. They have knocked down power poles and P.O.’d countless car buffs by painting their rides with desert dirt. Chalk up the dustiness of these particular haboobs to abnormally dry conditions in Arizona – the rainfall around Phoenix since last October is more than three-and-a-half inches below average."

 

Tornado On Humphrey's Peak (Arizona). Wait, a tornado at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet? Yep, according to the National Weather Service. Click here to read more about this rare (mountain) tornado. Some additional stats here:

 

 

State Of The Climate: August 2011. Data courtesy of NOAA's NCDC, National Climatic Data Center:

The NWS has released its state of the climate report for August. New York, New Jersey, Vermont, and New Hampshire had their wettest August on record, and the rest of the northeast had a top five wettest August.

At the other end of the spectrum, the South had one of its driest Augusts on record. The Texas drought has gotten so bad that tree rings, dating back to 1550, have shown that only one other summer has been this bad, which occurred in 1789.

 

A New Way To Improve Dust Storm Prediction Accuracy? The Air Force is doing some cutting edge research on dust storms, and trying to predict them in advance. It's obvious that military operations can be greatly impacted by blowing dust - getting a better handle on blowing dust can give commanders in the field an operational edge, as reported by the Laughlin Air Force Base: "The saying "leave it better than when you found it" is constantly used in the military with all the moving and relocating that is done. Staff Sgt. Thomas Jenkins, 47th Operations Support Squadron Weather Flight NCO in charge of weather systems, did just that and more after a recent deployment to Iraq. Jenkins, while deployed to Forward Operating Base Kalsu, realized that a better method to predict dust storms could be developed. He decided to give himself a research project before devising a plan that ultimately improves dust storm forecasts accuracy rating by 80 percent. The Air Force recognized this achievement and are scheduled to begin training personnel and distributing to areas of responsibility that will benefit from the new tool. "We typically work with water based weather such as rain, snow and thunderstorms," he said. "When you're out in CENTOM (U.S. Central Command), you don't typically see that much, it's more blowing dust and sand storms. Because our models aren't built to work with that, it tends to be a little more unreliable than what your typical weather forecast would be. So I did about five months of field research looking for a way to take the tools we had and make them work better. I was able to come up with a math formula that accomplished that."

 

ISU-Texas Game To Be The "Wind Bowl". This makes sense, considering Texas and Iowa are America's two largest wind producing states. Here's the story from the Des Moines Register: "Befitting a matchup of universities from the two largest wind producing states in the U.S., the game between Iowa State and Texas Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames has been dubbed the “wind bowl” by the American Wind Energy Association. For the game, the stadium will be 100-percent powered by wind through the purchase of Green-e-certified Renewable Energy Certificates to offset energy used. The American Wind Energy Association and Iowa State’s College of Engineering will join MidAmerican Energy, ITC Midwest, and Siemens for live, on-field recognition of their work in wind power during a break in the game. While Iowa leads the nation in wind penetration, with about 4,200 megawatts of wind power deployed. Texas is tops in total wind installations, with over 10,000 MW deployed." (photo credit here).

 

Windy Day - May Blow Away! Speaking of wind, check out this cute YouTube clip: "Check out these dogs in Annandale, Minnesota.  This video is from Amy Sparks. She says “...very windy day of my two Havanese dogs, Jubilee & Posh in Annandale, MN at the municipal city park where they usually like to “run like hell” but couldn’t because they may have been blown away.” Yep, I hate it when my dog (Leo) blows away. He doesn't like it much either...

 

Kindle Fire vs. Apple iPad. What Amazon's Tablet Has That iPad Lacks. Here's more information on the new gadget (productivity device) from Huffington Post: "At first glance, the Amazon Kindle Fire doesn't appear to be an iPad killer. When you compare the hardware and technical specs of the new Amazon tablet next to those of the Apple tablet, there doesn't seem to be much of a comparison: Apple's 10-inch, 16GB iPad is a far cry from the 7-inch, 8GB first-generation Kindle Fire. And yet the fact is that, at the end of the day, they're both tablets, which means that consumers will probably be choosing between one or the other when it comes time to get a tablet. Unless you're doing really well this recession, it would be hard to justify shelling out money for both an iPad (starting at $499) and a Kindle Fire (which costs $199, less than half of what it costs for Apple's tablet)."

Amazon's Tablet Leads To Its Store. The New York Times has more information on the Amazon Fire here.

 

Clipped Again. A fast-moving Alberta Clipper brushed the metro with a trace of rain (and 50 mph wind gusts). Heavier rain fell over the Minnesota Arrowhead, .31" at Duluth and .28" at Hibbing. Highs were in the 60s statewide.

 

 

Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

 

TODAY: Bright sun, less wind. Winds: North 10-20. High: 59

 

FRIDAY NIGHT: Clear and cool (peek at the Northern Lights?) Low: 40

 

SATURDAY: Blue sky, milder breeze. Winds: SE 10. High: 65

 

SUNDAY: Indian Summer. Peaking leaves! Blue sky, pretty close to perfect. Winds: S 10-15. Low: 49. High: 72

 

MONDAY: Still sunny and spectacular. Low: 56. High: 73

 

TUESDAY: More clouds, slightly cooler - few sprinkles/showers up north? Low: 54. High: 68

 

WEDNESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, windy. Low: 53. High: 72

 

THURSDAY: Clouds increase, still mild. Low: 55. High: near 70

 

* Long-range weather models are hinting at significant rain next Friday (October 7), followed by cooler, windier weather the weekend of October 8-9.

 

 

 

Close to Peak Color?

Quick question: what do you call 4 Vikings fans in your basement? A whine cellar. Thanks for coming folks! Have a safe drive home. These are frustrating times for Vikings fans, but they'll be back. Then again I am a hopelessly naive optimist.

Yesterday's hair-curling, eye-watering winds, associated with a vigorous Alberta Clipper, will ease up today. The NWS was predicting 32 foot seas on Lake Superior! Yes, the "Gales of November" came early.

Weather models hint at wet snow for upstate New York by Saturday, as the jet stream buckles, plunging November-like air into New England. In stark contrast a building ridge of high pressure plastered over the Upper Midwest should insure blue sky and mellowing temperatures; 70s return by Sunday. A word to the wise: if you're planning to set out in search of fall color consider going this weekend. According to the DNR, colors are peaking just north/west of the metro - all the way to Lake Superior's North Shore. Professional photographer Paul Sundberg says "the color at Oberg Mountain, in the Lutsen area, is the best I've seen in 10 years." Heavy rain is shaping up for the end of next week. By then we may be past peak. Check it out - soon.

* photo above courtesy of Paul Sundberg Photography.

 

Colbert: "Global Warming Is Real Folks". Here's a spot-on monologue from Stephen Colbert, courtesy of the New York Times and Comedy Central: "Stephen Colbert spent some time on Monday night, between Radiohead songs, dissecting realities on global warming and energy using very sharp satirical tools. Here’s one piercingly true line:

"In the face of all this mounting evidence, America has stood with one voice and boldly proclaimed: “Eh.”

After a performance by Radiohead, he sat with Thom Yorke and Ed O’Brien from the band and dug in again on Americans but also on how a rock band can square its carbon concerns with its energy needs (like a masterful juggler adding a ball in mid-performance, he threw in a jab at “clean coal” in the process)."

 

Climate Change Will Cost Canada Billions: Report. Here's the story from CTV Winnipeg: "Climate change will cost Canada about $5 billion a year by 2020, a startling new analysis commissioned by the federal government warns. Those costs will continue to climb, to between $21 billion and $43 billion a year by the 2050s, the report estimates. It all depends on how much action is taken to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as how fast the population and the economy grow too. In the worst-case scenario, climate change could cost as much as $91 billion per year by 2050. The report was issued Thursday morning by The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. Its members are business leaders, academics and researchers who were chosen by the federal government to advise them on how to handle the climate change crisis, while also continuing to stimulate the economy. In its report, the think-tank projects the cost of climate change based on four scenarios, ranging from slow population and economic growth combined with low climate change, to rapid population and economic growth and high climate change."

 

President Obama Slams Rick Perry On Climate Change, Citing Texas Wildfires. How strong is the link between climate change and the record-setting wilfires that have swept across Texas this year? Here is a thorough piece from politifact.com: "During a Sept. 26, 2011, speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraising event in San Jose, Calif., President Barack Obama aimed some attack lines at the Republican Party. "Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republican but are puzzled by what’s happened to that party...." Obama said in comments that, according to the White House’s transcript, were punctuated by laughter. "I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately? You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change. No, no, it’s true. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have health care, and booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay. That’s not reflective of who we are. We’ve had differences in the past, but at some level we’ve always believed, you know what, that we’re not defined by our differences. We’re bound together." After several readers brought it to our attention, we zeroed in on Obama’s comment that "you’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change." The governor in question is Rick Perry of Texas -- one of the leading candidates in the Republican presidential primary and therefore a potential challenger to Obama in his bid for a second term next year. As for the fires Obama mentioned, Texas has been experiencing one of its most severe wildfire seasons in history.  According to the Texas Forest Service, 3.8 million acres burned and 2,742 homes were destroyed by wildfires between Nov. 15, 2010 and Sept. 26, 2011. A spokesman for Perry, Mark Miner, thought Obama’s comment was unfair, telling ABC News, "It’s outrageous President Obama would use … the worst fires in state history as a political attack." (photo courtesy of CBS News).

The Not-So-Green Mountains. Not everyone is enthusiastic about wind energy and wind turbines in their back yards. The reality? Every form of energy creation has it's own set of risks and challenges, including renewables. The New York Times has an Op-Ed focused on what wind power could mean for Vermont's Green Mountains: "Craftsbury, Vt.BULLDOZERS arrived a couple of weeks ago at the base of the nearby Lowell Mountains and began clawing their way through the forest to the ridgeline, where Green Mountain Power plans to erect 21 wind turbines, each rising to 459 feet from the ground to the tip of the blades. This desecration, in the name of “green” energy, is taking place in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on one of the largest tracts of private wild land in the state. Here and in other places — in Maine and off Cape Cod, for instance — the allure of wind power threatens to destroy environmentally sensitive landscapes. Erecting those turbines along more than three miles of ridgeline requires building roads — with segments of the ridgeline road itself nearly half as wide as one of Vermont’s interstate highways — in places where the travel lanes are now made by bear, moose, bobcat and deer. It requires changing the profile of the ridgeline to provide access to cranes and service vehicles. This is being accomplished with approximately 700,000 pounds of explosives that will reduce parts of the mountaintops to rubble that will be used to build the access roads." (photo above courtesy of flickr).

 

Climate Change Threatens Yellowstone Region. Reuters has the story: "A warming climate is imperilling the wildlife and landscapes in the Yellowstone National Park region, two environmental groups said in a study. The report by Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and Greater Yellowstone Coalition shows temperatures in the past decade in the Yellowstone area have exceeded the rate of warming worldwide compared to the 20th Century average. Left unchecked, climate change is likely to transform the greater Yellowstone area, which includes parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana and encompasses two national parks, six national forests and three wildlife refuges, the report said.The Yellowstone National Park region is one of the world's last largely intact temperate ecosystems."

 

Climate Change Compounds Global Security Threat, British Admiral Says. The story from CNN: "Stresses from global climate change are increasing the threat of wars around the world, a British admiral said Wednesday. Royal Navy Rear Adm. Neil Morisetti told students and faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology that global climate change threats to food, water, land and energy will present substantive security challenges in regions of the world where there are already stresses. "Those climate stress multipliers are increasing the threat of armed conflict around the world," Morisetti said. Morisetti pointed out that existing stress points form a band around the globe, running from Central and South America, across Africa, the Middle East and south Asia. That band, he said, intersects with the regions of the globe most susceptible to climate change. With climate change, Morisetti said, "we're going to add more to that cocktail." Morisetti, who holds the title of the British government's climate and energy security envoy, is on a tour of the United States, speaking to academics and military officials. He says climate change represents a significant challenge for governments because the "new and emerging threat doesn't fit into the traditional stovepipe of governments. "It's a threat that won't manifest for the next 15 to 20 years, which means that you have to look at potential threats, not particular threats."

 


Climate Change Scenarios Confirm Warming. Here's a look at how climate change is impacting Switzerland, courtesy of swissinfo.ch: "Average temperatures and extreme weather events are set to increase in Switzerland, a climate change report has found. In the best case scenario – supposing a strong reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades – temperatures would still rise by nearly two degrees celsius by the end of the century. In the worst case, average seasonal temperatures would rise by nearly five degrees. Using a new generation of global and European-scale regional climate models, Swiss Climate Change Scenarios CH2011 presents three different possible effects on temperatures and precipitation resulting from three greenhouse gas emissions scenarios."

Welcome to Palm Springs (with lakes)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: October 12, 2010 - 9:38 PM

 

Man Uses Laptop For Cover During Tornado - Dell Rewards Him With New Computer. "Dude - you just won a Dell...the hard way!" Just when you think you've seen everything, along comes the story of 83 year old Jack Woolley of Machipongo, Virginia - who used a Dell laptop computer to shield himself from flying debris as a tornado smashed through his house earlier this summer. It's true - I heard it on Oprah! Actually, WFMY-TV has the mind-boggling story here.

2-4" of Hail? The best part of Monday night's Vikes game? Those last half touchdown passes were a step in the right direction - but the WEATHER for the Jet's game was the craziest thing I've witnessed in years - nearly continuous lightning, the first NFL weather-delay in 4 years - and several inches of HAIL across the metro area. Roads became icy (from hail!) - 32 degree (ice-strewn) water chilling the air from below - creating waves of thick fog, resulting in an eerie sight. What a summer: Minnesota sees 145 tornado reports, and even New York City gets in on the action with tornado touch downs and an unusually number of (wild) hailstorms. The story is here - some pretty amazing YouTube here.

 

Close Encounter. It didn't make headlines (thank God) but yesterday Asteroid 2010 TF54 (roughly 20 feet wide) passed within 28,000 miles of Earth. There was never any danger of this particular space-rock scoring a direct hit (odds are it would have burned up in a fiery arc through the atmosphere). NASA and hundreds of amateur astronomers are tracking all these errant asteroids and (at last report) we're ok for the time being. Comforting. More from U.K's Telegraph newspaper here.

 

Less Ice Up Top. According to National Snow and Ice Data Center September coverage of Arctic ice reached 1.89 million square miles, 830,000 square miles less than the 1979-2000 average - 230,000 square miles more than the all-time record: 2007. It was the third lowest extent of Arctic ice since satellites began measuring changes in the Arctic. More details here.

 

 

 

Hurricane Paula. The 8th hurricane of the seasn is intensifying rapidly off the coast of Cozumel and Cancun - sustained winds of 100 mph. Paula will produce extensive flooding across Cuba, possibly brushing the Florida Keys with tropical storm force wind by Thursday or Friday - all the models keep the brunt of Paula south of Florida. Data courtesy of NHC - graphics from Ham Weather.

 

 

 

"The Choosing"

This summer a friend of mine, John Overby, walked from Eden Prairie Minnesota to Washington DC, approximately 1200 miles.  The event was called "John's Walk for Recovery."  John did the walk for several reasons. The first was to raise awareness of the escalating problem of addiction in the United States.  The second was to raise money for a documentary film called "The Choosing". More on John's ambitous project below. If you know someone struggling with addiction you should check out John's inspirational story and  YouTube overview - and consider getting involved at any level.

 

 

Another Day In Paradise. 8 days in a row above 70, 9 days above 70 since October 1 - 4 days/row above 80 this month. In spite of a cool frontal passage the mercury reached 63 at Alexandria, 67 at St. Cloud, 72 in the Twin Cities and 79 in Rochester. A far cry from last year, when the high was 36 with 2.5" of snow. How is that even possible?

 

Paul's Star Tribune Outook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

 

Today: Bright sun, breezy and cool. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 64

 

Wednesday night: Clear and seasonably cool. Low: 43

 

Thursday: Blue sky, a bit milder - another beautiful day. High: 66

 

Friday: Sunny - still dry, still amazing quiet (for October). High: 64

 

Saturday: Spectacular sunshine, a bit milder. High: 65 (70 not out of the question over southern MN).

 

Sunday: Sun fades behind increasing high clouds. High: 62

 

Monday: Cloudy with a chance of light rain. High: 55

 

Tuesday: Becoming partly sunny and windy - feeling more like mid October. High: 57

 

A Dickens Tale

 

October, 2010 has been the best of times - and the worst of times. For Gophers, Twins & Vikings fans this is degenerating into "Choke-tober." It's been painful for loyal sports fans. So close, and yet so far. At least we'll always have October. Or is it still early September out there? I have to check the calendar these days to be sure. 8 days/row above 70, 4 days/row > 80. Wow.

Last year we were scraping snow off our driveways & sidewalks on October 13; this year we've enjoyed a jumbo, 6 week (and counting) September, record highs falling left & right. It's taken some of the pain out of reading the daily sports section of the Star Tribune. I don't see a drop of rain until Monday of next week (19 days since we've seen measurable rain at MSP). A slightly-cooler-front arrives today, but 60s should be the rule through the weekend. Monday will be a minor reality check with periods of rain, highs in the 50s next week, more like the October we know & cherish. Nothing wintry is on tap through the 28th of October.

Meanwhile Hurricane Paula may brush south Florida within 48 hours - a major rain & wind storm is on tap for New England by the end of this week. While we bask in the sun.

 

 

 

Offshore Wind Power Line Wins Praise - And Backing. The New York Times reports on an ambitious investment from Google and a few New York financial firms betting on the long-term prospects for wind power. Specifically, the joint venture is funding a 350 mile long transmission "backbone" that will connect to hundreds of offshore wind turbines - possibly reinventing the power grid for many east coast states.

 

 

 

China's Glaciers May Shrink By 27% By The Year 2050: Report. The average area of glaciers over western China may shrink by as much as 27% in the next 40 years, based on current temperature and moisture trends over Asia. A recent study predicts that ocean glaciers, affected by wet airflow from the oceans - may decline by over 52% by 2050. More from the Times of India here.

 

Climate Change: A Summary Of The Science. The Royal Academy of the UK has a comprehensive overview of climate change. If you're interested in learning more about the state of the science click here to download the pdf.

 

 

 

U.N.: "Credible" Climate Report Needed. There is a credibility problem, or at least a perceived problem - based on last winter's e-mail hack and the resulting "ClimateGate" uproar. 97% of peer-reviewed climate scientists believe that the atmosphere is warming, and much of that warming can be traced to antropogenic (man-made) sources, specifically the burning of fossil fuels. The 2007 IPCC report was comprehensive, but there were errors in the final draft - and there is mounting pressure to address those problems head-on with a new report, one that is fair, impartial, and reflects the true state of the science. More from the UPI here.

 

 

 

Walking To Raise Addiction Awareness.

I have a lot of friends and family members who have been touched by addiction - several people close to me took their lives because they saw no hope, no future. That's why I'm including the story of John Overby, who walked 1,200 miles from Eden Prairie to Washington D.C. to raise awareness for addiction issues facing this nation. He's trying to raise money to complete a film about his journey - his goal is to make the end result available to everyone: individuals grappling with addiction, treatment centers - anyone and everyone touched by this insidious disease.

Here is the note John sent me on Tuesday - I hope you'll consider getting involved...

 

"The inspiration for "The Choosing" was borne from the desire to help those seeking a lasting release from their addiction and to lead a happy and a more fulfilling life.

"The Choosing" is a film that will explore the Spiritual experience that most of us find so necessary to break free from addiction and live in recovery.  I intend to interview a large number of people in recovery who have had this experience and use their stories to inspire hope in those who are seeking their own escape from addiction.

 In March of this year I was inspired  to begin planning the walk to Washington.  I felt at that time that I had enough resources at hand to complete the walk and that funds raised from the walk would be sufficient to move the project forward.  This unfortunately was not the case.  The walk was successful at raising awareness but not very successful at raising money.  

 While on the walk I shot several hours of video that have started to take shape into a documentary that I am calling "An American Walkabout… Addiction."  This film will be used to raise awareness and a  fundraising tool for the larger project, 

The Choosing."  It has always been my intention to make both of these films available to anyone who can make use of them, free of charge.  So there is not much incentive for traditional inverters in this project.

 This is why I need your help.  At this time I am trying to raise enough money to allow me to complete the film "An American Walkabout… Addiction."  It is not easy to ask people for money in these tough economic times, but I feel this is an investment in the future of recovery.  For me there were many elements needed to complete the picture that became recovery.  Some were in the form of books, some were in the form of films and some were in the form of kind words form loving people.  This project may be one element in the recovery of someone you don't know or someone you love.

Please look at the link and help if you can!  Thank you! 

Peace!"

John Overby

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1768225613/an-american-walkabout-addiction